West Wales War Memorial Project
West Wales War Memorial Project

Cilycwm and Area War Memorials

Cilycwm is a small village located about four miles north of Llandovery, on the west bank of the River Gwenlais, in the Towy Valley. There are known war memorials within several places of worship in the area, notably at Cilycwm Church, Cwmsarnddu Chapel, Soar Chapel, Rhandirmwyn Church and Cynghordy Church. The Rhandirmwyn memorial details are on a separate document. I presently have no photographs of any of these memorials, apart from the memorials inside Cilycwm and Rhandirmwyn Churches, so anything would be most welcome.

Cilycwm War Memorial, The Great War, 1914-1918

John Ebenezer Thomas, Private, 1071, Welsh Guards. John was from Cilycwm. He married Dorothy May Davies, of Glynborthyn Shop, Caio in 1915. John served with the 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards, attached to 3 Guards Brigade, Guards Division. The division saw its first major action during the Battle of Loos on 25 September 1915, remaining in the area during the coming months, where they also fought in the subsequent Action of Hohenzollern Redoubt. In July 1916 the Division moved to the Somme, where they fought at the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, which is where John was killed on 10 September 1916. He was 25 years old, and is buried at Delville Wood Cemetery, Longueval, France.

George Williams, Private, 14684, King's Shropshire Light Infantry. George was born on 19 March 1894, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Williams, of 47, Lion Street, Hay. He had worked as a Groom with Mr. Lewis, of Llys Newydd, Cilycwm prior to the war and enlisted in September 1914 into the 7th Battalion, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. The battalion was attached to 76 Brigade, 25th Division, and moved to France on 28 September 1915. The division made its way across northern France, and took up positions near Ploegsteert Wood, in Belgium. It then spent a period in trenches around Sanctuary Wood, east of Ypres, before enjoying a spell of training out of the line at Steenvoorde. The division took up new positions at The Bluff, east of Ypres, in November, before moving again to Northern France. George was killed in action here on 3 December 1915, aged 21. He is buried in Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois-Grenier, France. George is not commemorated locally.

Cwmsarnddu Chapel, The Great War, 1914-1918

William John Hughes, Driver, W/3512, Royal Field Artillery. William was the son of Frederick and Mary Hughes, of Tynyberth, Cilycwm, and enlisted at Swansea into the Royal Field Artillery. He served with ‘A’ Battery, 122nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, which was attached to the 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division had fought on the Western Front since arriving in December 1915, and had been stationed in every part of the line by the turn of 1917, from Flanders to Mametz Wood, to Ypres and then to Armentieres. The Division were holding the lines east of Armentieres over the winter of 1917/18, when William became ill. He was brought to Calais, probably to No. 35 General Hospital, where he died on 18 March 1918, aged 25. He is buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte, France.

Daniel Richards, Rifleman, R/9943, Kings Royal Rifle Corps. Daniel was the son of David and Sarah Richards, of Plasnewydd, Cilycwm, Llandovery. He enlisted at Ammanford into the 9th Battalion, Kings Royal Rifle Corps, who formed part of 42 Brigade, 14th (Light) Division. The Division had landed at Boulogne on 20 May 1915 and fought at Hooge, where they were to gain the dubious honour of being the first Division to be attacked by flamethrowers. Daniel was wounded there by shrapnel, and returned home for treatment, but died in hospital at Bury St Edmunds of wounds on 25 October 1915, aged 24. He was given a military funeral at Cilycwm Baptist Chapelyard.

Cynghordy Church, The Great War, 1914-1918

James Jones, Private, 20026, Welsh Regiment. James was the son of Daniel and Mary Jane Jones, of 4, Towy Avenue, Llandovery. He enlisted at Ammanford along with his brother John, into the 15th Battalion, the Welsh Regiment, which was the Carmarthen Pals battalion, attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division landed in France in December 1915 and moved to the Armentieres area where they were initiated into trench warfare. They then moved to the Somme in June, 1916, to take part in the attack on Mametz Wood, which began on 7 July 1916. The attack failed, and so 114 Brigade went in again on 10 July and were decimated. James was killed in action during the assault across 'Death Valley', on 10 July 1916, alongside his brother John. He was 21 years old and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

John Jones, Corporal, 20027, Welsh Regiment. John was the son of Daniel and Mary Jane Jones, of 4, Towy Avenue, Llandovery. He enlisted at Ammanford along with his brother James, into the 15th Battalion, the Welsh Regiment, known as the Carmarthen Pals battalion, which was attached to 114 Brigade, 38th (Welsh) Division. The Division landed in France in December, 1915 and moved to the Armentieres area where they were initiated into trench warfare. They then moved to the Somme in June, 1916, to take part in the attack on Mametz Wood, which began on 7 July 1916. The attack failed, and so 114 Brigade went in again on 10 July, and were decimated. John was killed in action during the assault across 'Death Valley', on the 10 July 1916, alongside his brother James. He was 24 years old and is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France.

Thomas Rees Jones, Private, 46326, Welsh Regiment. Thomas was born in Llandovery in 1881. In 1908 he married Eliza Beatrice Penelrick, and the couple set up home at 2, Victoria Street, Llandingat, where their three children were born. Thomas enlisted at Llandovery into the 17th Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was a Bantam battalion, attached to 119 Brigade, 40th (Bantam) Division. The Division moved to France in June 1916, and served at Loos until August, before moving to the Somme. They fought during the Battle of the Ancre, and followed the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line where Thomas was killed in action on 24 April 1917, aged 37. Thomas is buried at Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich, France.

Aneurin Rhys Lewis, Gunner, 124040, Royal Garrison Artillery. Aneurin was the Son of Charles William Rhys Lewis and Miriam Lewis, of Fronfelen, Llandovery. He enlisted at Oxford on 26 October 1916 into the Royal Fusiliers, but was discharged as unfit, and re-enlisted into the Royal Garrison Artillery. Aneurin was then posted to France, joining the 13th Siege Battery. Aneurin was killed in action during the opening day of the German Spring Offensive on 21 March 1918, aged 20. Aneurin was initially buried on the battlefield, but in 1920 his body was exhumed, and he was reburied at Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery, France.

Edward Redding, Private, 6350, Welsh Regiment. Edward was born in London in 1878. He had moved to Carmarthenshire by 1886, and lived at Divlyn, Llandovery with his brother John. Both brothers had served with the Welsh Regiment during the Boer War, before returning to Llandovery. Edward re-enlisted at Llandeilo into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, which was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division were one of the first in France landing on 13 August 1914. They immediately moved to Mons and took part in the Battle of Mons, before fighting in the epic retreat South toward the Marne, where the German Offensive was held. The Welsh took part in the advance to the Aisne, and fought at the Battle of the Aisne, before being moved to Ypres, where they took part in First Ypres, the battle which held the German advance across Flanders. Edward was wounded during the Battle of Gheluveld, and Died of Wounds on 31 October 1914, aged 36. He is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

John Redding, Private, 6324, Welsh Regiment. John was born in London in 1874. He had moved to Carmarthenshire by 1886, and lived at Divlyn, Llandovery with his brother Edward. Both brothers had served with the Welsh Regiment during the Boer War, before returning to Llandovery. John re-enlisted at Llandeilo into the 2nd Battalion, Welsh Regiment, along with his brother, Edward. The battalion was attached to 3 Brigade, 1st Division. The Division were one of the first in France landing on 13 August 1914. They immediately moved to Mons and took part in the Battle of Mons, before fighting in the epic retreat South toward the Marne, where the German Offensive was held. The Welsh took part in the advance to the Aisne, and fought at the Battle of the Aisne, before being moved to Ypres, where they took part in First Ypres, the battle which held the German advance across Flanders. John was probably wounded at Loos in September 1915. He was brought back to a hospital in North Wales, where he became attached to the 3rd Welsh, and died there on 2 January 1916, aged 42. He is buried at Bangor (Glanadda) Cemetery.

 

Soar, Tynewydd Chapel, World War Two, 1939-1945

 

Cyril Frederick Hughes, Fusilier, 4197439, Royal Welch Fusiliers. Cyril was the son of John Hughes, and of Elizabeth Hughes, of Burma House, Cilycwm. He served with the 1st Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, which was a regular army battalion, sent to the Far East in 1942 after taking part in the evacuation of Dunkirk. Cyril was killed on 20 April 1943 while the battalion was still in India. He was 24 years old, and is buried at Maynamatti War Cemetery, Bangladesh.

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Website News

4 May 2017. Welcome news this morning that a new CWGC headstone has been erected in Laugharne for Domingo Mobile, a sailor who I found to be buried there a couple of years ago. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

8 March 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated Welsh sailor, Samuel Arthur Griffiths, of Tredegar, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

8 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Llewelyn Owen Roberts, of Penmaenmawr, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

 

7 February 2017. Some more good news today. Another un-commemorated soldier, Isaac Owen, of Seven Sisters, has today been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC as a result of my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

20 December 2016. Some good news today that another uncommemorated soldier, Private Thomas Owen Davies, of Machynlleth, has been accepted for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for further details.

30 November 2016. At long last my latest book has been published: Welsh Yeomanry at War. Please see the Steve’s Books page of the website for details.

23 November 2016. Some good news today with the acceptance of another Welsh soldier, Percy Griffin Williams, of the Welsh Horse Yeomanry, for commemoration by the CWGC following my research. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.

 

15 November 2016. I would like to thank the people of Laugharne, especially the members of the Laugharne and District Historical Society, for their welcome during their recent History Event on Saturday when I visited to make a talk about how researching the Laugharne War Memorial inspired me to create this website and to begin my writing career. It was a very interesting day and was well attended by the locals.

26 Sep 2016. After a lot of hard work I have finally managed to identify a soldier from Gwaun-cae-Gurwen, Morgan Price James, who since the early 1920’s has been commemorated by the CWGC under the wrong name, James Morgan. Please see the Forgotten Soldiers section of the website for details.

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